Music is one way to expose your child to things that will develop their brain further. The left side of the brain provides reasoning, logic, and language, while the right side is for creativity and the arts. Being smart is not just about how well your child can solve a math problem. Yes, learning how to tell time on a regular clock versus digital, count in their head without a calculator, and count back change are necessary left brain activities. However, you also want to stimulate their learning process.
Experts say you should play classical music, while your child is still in the womb to help stimulate their brain growth and intelligence. Once your child is born you want to continue providing music to boost their memory, attention, motivation and learning. Studies have conclusively shown that music can help with all four: attention, memory, motivation, and learning.
Music is also known to lower stress levels that can hinder and be destructive on your child’s brain. Rock is obviously not going to de-stress your child, but New Age like Yanni, classical, water sounds, forest sounds, and other peaceful meditation music will definitely reduce your child’s angst. Music before bed, when your child wakes up, and throughout the day will help to stimulate your child’s mind.
Listening to music is just one aspect of making music a part of your child’s life.
Playing a Musical Instrument
Allowing your child to learn how to play a musical instrument is going to have an effect on their spatial-temporal reasoning and proportional thinking, according to research. Studies have shown that individuals who play an instrument have a good foundation for abstract math. It is a good idea to start with the piano. The piano is a simple instrument in comparison to some of the other options. It is also something your child can sit down at, and use their hands and brain.
Your child should learn to read up to 10 notes at a time. Once your child is able to associate the notes on the piano with the different sounds, you can add in another instrument. It will be much easier to learn a new instrument.
You do not have to start with the piano if your child does not like it or you do not have that option. You can try a different instrument. The most important thing is to start educating your child on music while they are young.
Playing an instrument may also depend on your child’s ability. Some instruments such as wind instruments are not always easy to play for children. Any instrument that requires air to be blown through a mouthpiece requires the right ability to form the mouth positions and make a sound. A child may love the flute, but be unable to play it.
Do not discourage your child from playing an instrument just because their ability is not there. Rather, find where their ability lies with music and start getting training on that instrument. Let your child know that it is okay to play a different instrument than what they think they will love. Chances are, they will start to love the instrument because it is an accomplishment and something they are praised for.
Providing Musical Activities
Music can be learned in a variety of ways. Music does not have to be solely about playing an instrument. Music can include singing. Young children love to hear their voices and sing. Many watch TV shows with teen musicians and desire to be a celebrity, so they sing during play time.
You should never discourage singing, but like any activity there should be rules.
Your child should understand that if they sing, it needs to be in an inside voice. They should be encouraged to try to sing properly, not in a silly manner, particularly when it is not play time.
Yes, exploring their ability is a good thing, but you also want to ensure that the family is not becoming stressed over such expression. There should be a time and a place for singing in any voice or in any style your child chooses. Plus, by encouraging them to sing properly, you are helping them to realize what is a good sound and what is not. Some children are more tone deaf than others and may not realize that they are not hitting the notes.
Playing an instrument can actually help your child associate notes, with singing and become more in tune.
Singing and playing an instrument are just two ways to expose your children to music. Playing music when they are around you is a third. There is a fourth way to encourage your children to appreciate music.
Concerts and Live Performances
When your child is capable of sitting in a seat for two hours, without moving around and fidgeting, it is time to take your child to concerts and other live performances.
Make certain you choose an eclectic mix of music and not just one genre. The idea is to ensure your child is gaining new experiences, as well as being exposed to different types of music. If you can try to take your child to various performance halls. For example, an indoor concert hall such as a theater offers different acoustics than an outdoor amphitheater. You want your child to hear the differences and see how “cool” music can be.
Two young children did not like Yanni. They thought it was classical and boring. These young kids were taken to a concert when they were about 10 and 11. The concert was at Red Rocks in Colorado. It is an outdoor amphitheater. The way the music bounced off the mountains, the sheer performance of the musician and his orchestra, combined with the experience brought out elements in the music these kids had missed before.
Your child may be the same. You may need to find a new way to show your children that music is wonderful. You also want to expose your child to different genres, so they understand there is more than one music option. They may not like it or they may fall in love with something you don’t truly appreciate.
A five-year-old can already love Phantom of the Opera, just by seeing the anniversary stage performance of the show. The child didn’t have to understand the full story to be amazed by the performance and the power of the music.
Here are some music ideas:
Take your child to a musical
Bring your child to a theater performance
Choose an opera to take your child to
Find inexpensive concert tickets
Bring your child to holiday shows like Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Each one of these ideas provides a different setting, different level of performance, and may help your child appreciate music even more.
Going to the theater for a play like Don Quixote, Les Miserables, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera or any theater performance can enhance your child’s brain development. The arts in stage form can be just as important to your child’s development as music.
Your child may not appreciate all types of stage performances. They may find them boring at first, but the key is to expose your child to activities that develop the brain as a way to build their intelligence.